The Influence of Celebrities & Influencers on Travel Choices

by Alice

In an era of ever-evolving travel preferences, recent insights shed light on what is dubbed as the “Taylor Swift Effect” on vacation planning decisions, underscoring the significant impact of celebrities, icons, and digital influencers in shaping the travel aspirations of a younger demographic. Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) reveals fresh data from YouGov*, illuminating how ‘travelebrities’, content creators, and celebrities renowned for their jet-setting lifestyles wield influence over real-world travel choices for 41% of ‘Zillennials’—a collective term encompassing 4,000 individuals from Generation Z and Millennials hailing from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and the U.K. Despite this digital sway, 55% of this demographic remains cautiously inspired, recognizing that genuine travel experiences often diverge from meticulously curated online depictions.

The data unveils a distinctive Canadian perspective: a noteworthy 69% of Canadians, surpassing counterparts from Australia (56%), South Africa (51%), and New Zealand (50%), acknowledge that ‘travelebrities’ serve as a source of inspiration for their travel aspirations, albeit with a measure of prudence.


While younger Canadians are drawn to visually captivating ‘scenecation’ retreats, 71% express the sentiment that ‘travelebrities’ contribute to inflated expectations, hindering the appreciation of simpler yet profound travel moments, with a quarter (25%) strongly concurring. Nonetheless, 65% demonstrate keen interest in destinations promising picture-perfect ‘scenecations’, underscoring the enduring allure of Instagram-worthy travel experiences.


The YouGov data underscores that travelers are often swayed by their preferred ‘scenecation’ settings—vacations driven by breathtaking scenery or picture-perfect vistas: sun-drenched locales boasting golden beaches and crystalline waters top the list for 61% of respondents, closely followed by mountainous escapes enveloped in fresh mountain air (60%), and verdant, serene forests where every shade of green offers solace to the soul (53%). Notably, Canadian women exhibit a greater inclination than men toward sun-drenched destinations (68% compared to 53%) or maritime adventures (40% compared to 31%) as their preferred ‘scenecation’ experiences.


Chadd Andre, Executive Vice President for Flight Centre Canada, elucidates, “Today’s travel influencers transcend digital creators; they wield influence over travel decisions.” However, he emphasizes that there is more to a journey than mere “likes” and follows; travelers are seeking authentic engagement with the essence of a destination—its culture (33%), connection (32%), and community (31%).

Andre advocates leveraging social media influencers as initial sources of inspiration to ignite wanderlust, followed by consultations with travel experts to craft a journey that seamlessly melds Instagrammable moments with meaningful encounters.

In this evolving landscape, younger Canadians are once again venturing forth with a distinct purpose: prioritizing cost savings and exclusive deals (86%), destination diversity and uniqueness (74%), and personalization and customization (57%) as pivotal factors in vacation planning.



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